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[477] announced in 1831, no deviation from it, no change in his spirit or his language. No shade had yet come over his orthodoxy. He had not ceased to quote the Bible against slaveholding, nor to depend upon the instrumentality of the churches in converting the North to his views. It was the conductors of a depraved religious press, rebuked without ceremony for its libels on the blacks and on the abolitionists; the trustees of theological schools invaded, or likely to be invaded, by the strife between colonization and immediate emancipation; the officers of denominations whose New England pulpits were, if usually closed, sometimes freely opened, to George Thompson and other anti-slavery lecturers,— it was these classes who were changed, but only into more bitter and more open opponents of the moral revolution they had failed to initiate, and could neither direct nor resist. The American Church, with its Northern and Southern brotherhood, had always acquiesced in slavery. Now first, in the year 1835, the progress of the agitation compelled the Northern wing to take sides deliberately for or against the old connection.

One sees how the anti-slavery leaven had begun to work in it. On the one hand was the Boston meeting of1 members and pastors of various city churches, to form a2 union among professing Christians to determine the action of churches as such against slavery; the formation of an anti-slavery society among the preachers of the3 New England Methodist Conference at Lynn, under the influence of George Thompson, and at the New Hampshire Conference; anti-slavery declarations by the Maine4 General Conference, the Detroit Presbytery, the Utica Synod, the Michigan Synod, the Maine Baptist Convention. On the other hand, in Boston, churches and vestries were shut against abolition meetings even for prayer, and the notices of them were systematically 5 suppressed. In New Hampshire, Methodist bishops issued a pastoral letter against cooperation with the 6 abolitionists,

1 April 2, 1835.

2 Lib. 5.59.

3 Lib. 5.99.

4 Lib. 5.109, 133, 149; 105, 163, 191; 173.

5 Lib. 5.59.

6 Lib. 5.173.

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